Jump to content

Menu

Recommended Posts

Hi, 

This is my first post and I apologize in advance if I break any rules. I don't use forums often and am a bit new to all the in's and out's of message boards. 

I will ask my question and if I am in the wrong place just let me know and I will figure out where I need to be. Thanks. 

I have a 14 year old son that has been in homeschool since kindergarten.  I need to start over with the methods I am currently using in homeschool  and have no idea how to do so. I have been "unschooling" rather than using curriculum or planned lessons. I received some horrible advice and listened to it for literally YEARS before realizing that it was not in the best interest of my sons future. I wasted the entirety of last year trying to start over with little to show for it. Can anyone give me any advice on how to start from scratch with a 14yr old? I am so overwhelmed that I really have zero clue how to proceed. There are so many holes in his learning that its almost like I literally taught him nothing. I basically have to pack in 8 years of school into one so that I can get him back on track as he wants to go to public school when he turns 16 in order to see what high school is like and graduate from a brick and mortar school.  

If this post is confusing I apologize. I am a mess and can't manage to think straight.  

Thanks for any advice or help that you can give me. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, ConcreteBrunette said:

Hi, 

This is my first post and I apologize in advance if I break any rules. I don't use forums often and am a bit new to all the in's and out's of message boards. 

I will ask my question and if I am in the wrong place just let me know and I will figure out where I need to be. Thanks. 

I have a 14 year old son that has been in homeschool since kindergarten.  I need to start over with the methods I am currently using in homeschool  and have no idea how to do so. I have been "unschooling" rather than using curriculum or planned lessons. I received some horrible advice and listened to it for literally YEARS before realizing that it was not in the best interest of my sons future. I wasted the entirety of last year trying to start over with little to show for it. Can anyone give me any advice on how to start from scratch with a 14yr old? I am so overwhelmed that I really have zero clue how to proceed. There are so many holes in his learning that its almost like I literally taught him nothing. I basically have to pack in 8 years of school into one so that I can get him back on track as he wants to go to public school when he turns 16 in order to see what high school is like and graduate from a brick and mortar school.  

If this post is confusing I apologize. I am a mess and can't manage to think straight.  

Thanks for any advice or help that you can give me. 

For starters, do you have any objective, external evaluation of his current skills? What does he know about math? Has he mastered addition, subtraction, division, and/or multiplication with negative and positive numbers, fractions and decimals? Can he read fluently? At what level?  Can you guesstimate based on a book he read and comprehended?

I would focus on math and reading. Science can be learned in school with his peers, same with history. He may not be able to graduate on time if he doesn’t start as a freshman in the fall. Does your state honor homeschool credits?

You will get much better advice if you can be more specific about your student’s knowledge/skills, his preferences, and your family goals.

Edited by Sneezyone
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not 100% clear on my states credit policy. I was just reading more about that earlier. I had not planned on him wanting to change to a traditional school. I am thrilled he does but not sure how that will work. How do I test his reading and math levels? His reading is absolutely fine and most likely well above his age and would be grade. In math he is somewhat behind I would think. He can manage everything up to decimals and that's where we stopped at the end of 2020.  Can you suggest any ways I can create an organized plan for his Curriculum since he is all over the place in levels? I have tried countless times over the last year to create a customized curriculum for him but failed. I tried online programs like IXL but more time was wasted trying to get him where he needed to be than actually learning. 

Thank you so much for your input. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, ConcreteBrunette said:

I am not 100% clear on my states credit policy. I was just reading more about that earlier. I had not planned on him wanting to change to a traditional school. I am thrilled he does but not sure how that will work. How do I test his reading and math levels? His reading is absolutely fine and most likely well above his age and would be grade. In math he is somewhat behind I would think. He can manage everything up to decimals and that's where we stopped at the end of 2020.  Can you suggest any ways I can create an organized plan for his Curriculum since he is all over the place in levels? I have tried countless times over the last year to create a customized curriculum for him but failed. I tried online programs like IXL but more time was wasted trying to get him where he needed to be than actually learning. 

Thank you so much for your input. 

So, I would start by doing a few things but other people may have different ideas.

1) I’d do some kind of standardized test-not to see where he is (because if he hasn’t had any exposure to the format the results are unlikely to be really useful) but because the school might do one and it’d be useful to see/know what they see.

2) I’d do some informal assessment of his math skills using a placement test for your curriculum of choice. Start with a  pre-Algebra one from Saxon or Singapore and move up or down until you find the right course (80-90% correct). For reading, choose a book he comfortably reads/comprehends...not too easy but not a frustrating slog either. Look up the guided reading and Lexile level for that book. That will give you some idea of where he is and help the folks here give you advice on how to proceed.

3) Contact your local district. Many kids are behind due to COVID. Don’t pigeonhole your DS by giving too many details. Just find out whether they honor homeschool credits for HS students, if they place based on age or test scores, and what course of study freshman typically take. This will help you decide what you’re aiming for and/or set realistic expectations for you and DS.

WRT writing, is he on-grade? Can he write a cogent, one page book report with good punctuation and grammar? If the reading and writing are solid, you may not be as far off as you think. 

Edited by Sneezyone
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Check your local laws. Some places won't give any credit for homeschooling high school, and require a student to start at grade 9 regardless of age. His plan of going to a school at age 16 won't really work well with that. So you'll need to know the policies in place.

 

Agreed, if his math and writing are good, he'll do okay.

I would do a placement test for what you're looking at for math. If he's not at the level you'd hope, I'd go for Bridge the Gap math to get him up to the level he'll want for the curriculum you'll want right now.

For writing, there are a bunch of approaches you could take, depending on how he's doing right now.

Does he have general background in science? History? You could do a sort of survey course for those, if you liked.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for your help everyone.  I think I am freaking out over this for little reason.  Also, is there no way to reply to responses directly? I feel like I am probably just overlooking the reply in the comments. So thank you each for your help. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, ConcreteBrunette said:

Thank you for your help everyone.  I think I am freaking out over this for little reason.  Also, is there no way to reply to responses directly? I feel like I am probably just overlooking the reply in the comments. So thank you each for your help. 

Yes, you can use the quote button to reply to a specific comment.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Posters have given good advice about the skills subjects (reading, writing, and math).  I'd do a math placement test and then see if he can read something and write a one page report about it that is well organized and grammatically correct.  I remember one of the Jeopardy champs saying that he had gotten a lot of his knowledge from reading children's nonfiction.  It lacks nuance for complex topics but he said that it was a great way to learn a lot of information quickly.  If you're worried about content knowledge, that approach might help.  You might also want to work on note taking - if you are looking at transitioning to a public high school as a non-freshman, especially, most students will already have experience taking notes during a class.  He could practice by taking notes from the nonfiction that he reads and then by taking notes from anything that is like a lecture - a sermon, a podcast, a documentary.  You could also self-administer a basic skills test, which can help you find any gaps that you didn't think about and also give an idea of where he stands compared to what is considered basic for his grade.  

Edited by Clemsondana
Link to post
Share on other sites

You could do Learn Math Fast to cover elementary to geometry in 7 volumes.  Just start at the beginning to make sure there aren't fundamental gaps.

If you want to just fill in elementary knowledge, you could read the Big Fat Notebook series.  There is English, World History, US History, and Science for middle school.  

If you are looking for a traditional high school transcript I would just start right now as 9th grade.  Do a year on the high school essay and notetaking.  Read some classics.  Take general science and world history.  If he can read fine then jumping in there shouldn't be a problem.  Go as far as you can with the Learn Math fast and call it Basic Math unless he gets through Algebra.  Add some PE/Health and an elective.

If you know what he wants to do post school, find out what he needs for that and work backwards.  But he probably isn't that "behind" unless he wants to be an engineer and needs to conquer calculus before starting college.

Link to post
Share on other sites

BTW, even many of us who weren't unschoolers have kids who are "behind" the usual high school sequence for whatever reason.  We work with the kid in front of us, where they are.  I have one I have homeschooled from the beginning, daily, intentionally that is way behind the usual high school math progression towards college.  We have to deal with it.  Now that she is making progress and algebra is starting to click, she will need to make decisions. Does she want to double up on math her senior year to get the required credits? (required here for a particular state scholarship that we qualify by income for, but that she cannot get without certain requirements, one of which is what maths have to be taken in high school.) Will she decide to take an extra semester or year of high school to finish? (has some benefits.  She could do some dual enrollment, work a lot of hours to save money, and get to be a year older and more mature,) or does she just work through summer really hard to finish a full credit in the summer then a full credit next year?  

So lots of us deal with these things.  If he is behind, start with preAlgebra before hitting the higher maths, or even a year or arithmetic. 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been meaning to reply to this thread for awhile.  

The other posters have given great advice.  If you are planning on sending him to public school at all for high school, the first thing that you need to do is find out your district's rules on transferring homeschool credits.  Some will simply not accept them, but they may be more flexible now with covid. From there you can formulate a plan to get him progressing towards his/your educational goals for him. 

Learn Math Fast is a GREAT suggestion, as is taking some placement tests from a few different programs.  Either one should give you an idea of where (if) he has gaps.  I would also evaluate reading comprehension.  I use Abeka for that for my middle schooler, but I don't know if they have something appropriate for the age of your son.  Finally, evaluate his writing.  Can he write a solid paragraph with a thesis statement, intro and conclusion, and supporting details?  Can he write a three paragraph composition about a topic?  What about a standard 5 paragraph essay?  If he is way behind in writing, focus on teaching him how to write a solid paragraph first, then go from there.  I wouldn't worry at all about science or social studies content until you get those other things figured out and decide on a high school plan. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, kristin0713 said:

The other posters have given great advice.  If you are planning on sending him to public school at all for high school, the first thing that you need to do is find out your district's rules on transferring homeschool credits.  Some will simply not accept them, but they may be more flexible now with covid. From there you can formulate a plan to get him progressing towards his/your educational goals for him. 

 

This is absolutely step number one.

Our district does not accept homeschool credits in high school.  If I were to enroll my kids in public school now, the younger ones would be placed in their age appropriate grade.  Everyone from ninth grade up would be placed in ninth grade.

For catching up, I would focus on math.  Math builds upon prior knowledge more than any other subject.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Math Mammoth is a flexible program in that it's inexpensive, you can buy .pdfs and print what you need when you need it, it goes through pre-algebra, and you can do it topically or by grade level. The site has pages that compare the topical to the grade levels, so you can use a placement test for the grade level material but then go a little bit up or down in difficulty while doing the topical units if you want to progress at your own pace and hit the holes. They also have videos with teaching. If you google the lesson's topic title and Math Mammoth video, you can usually pull one up easily. 

They are having a big sale through Feb. 2nd.

Topical: https://www.mathmammoth.com/blue-series

https://www.mathmammoth.com/study_order

Video home page: https://www.mathmammoth.com/videos/

Oh, MM is aligned to Common Core, which might be useful if he's going to school. 

Keep in mind that some 14 year olds are still in that stage of being kind of brain dead--some of the holes may be due to all the growth and change of the middle school years.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...